Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust is a Wanaka community-based native plant nursery that specialises in propagating plants of local origin (Upper Clutha region) and uses these plants for localised native habitat restoration. We work with local community groups, schools, organisations & businesses in the effort to promote hands-on community land care.
Nursery Sessions - Nursery volunteer days are open to all members of the public and are held every Tuesday & Wednesday from 9am-12pm (Spring/Summer) and 1pm-4pm (Autumn/Winter). These volunteer sessions teach propagation/cultivation techniques, leading on to planting and nurturing of the young plants in the wild and are guided by our Nursery Manager. We provide Venus coffee, tea and snacks for all our volunteers and you also get the chance to soak in the views on our deck.
Planting Projects - Each year, we identify and undertake habitat restoration projects to create islands of new native bush and enrich existing areas to provide precious habitat for our local wildlife. Work at these planting projects takes the form of maintenance days (watering and weeding) and planting days (putting the plants into the ground). Project days are on Saturdays with maintenance during the summer and planting between May and November. Dates are advertised in the calendar below and in the Wanaka Messenger and Wanaka App.
Nursery Closed, AGM Postponed
The Covid-19 alert level 4 has forced us to close the nursery and postpone the AGM. The documents that would have been presented at the AGM are now available here - scroll down to Trust Documents. If you have any queries you can contact us via
New Nursery Space looking organised
We so like the look of the new nursery space as it becomes organised - many thanks to the volunteer team who have been, and are, putting this in place.
Honouring Andrew and Welcoming Kris
Andrew - our founding nursery manager has been integral in helping us come so far. With his dedication, warmth, humour, knowledge and enthusiasm and belief in all Te Kākano stands for he has been invaluable, and we wish him well as he leaves us.
We know our volunteers have appreciated Andrew's welcoming approach at our nursery and planting sessions, and all he has helped them achieve. Thank-you Andrew for all you have given us and we look forward to welcoming you as a volunteer when time allows.
We have appointed Kris Vollebregt as our new Nursery Manager. Kris has extensive knowledge of our operations in a volunteer capacity and also as a relief manager in Andrew's absence, so we are in capable hands and look forward to working with her as the new nursery space takes shape.
Look at us now!
Our nursery expansion takes shape with perimeter fencing and groundwork complete. Next steps - irrigation system and wind protection. Exciting times. Thanks to all involved.
TUFT and Puzzling World
Do you like the TUFT sticker?
Those wearing them have visited Puzzling World and contributed to their “Top Up For Trees” (TUFT) programme that Puzzling World launched recently to raise funds for Te Kākano.
Visitors can choose to pay an extra $1 on their admission and this comes directly to Te Kākano. They receive a sticker and the satisfaction of helping our local habitat.
We are hugely appreciative of being the recipients of such a scheme and delighted that our values appeal to Duncan and his team at Puzzling World. Their TUFT programme helps raise our profile as well as funds.
Puzzling World are also sponsoring our next planting at Diamond Lake – fantastic local support, thank-you.
Nursery is closed until further notice. If you have queries contact
Every Tues & Wed
October 1 - March 31: 9am - 12
April 1 - September 30: 1pm - 4pm
Covid-19 precautions at the nursery
We are fortunate in that we work outdoors, so we welcome you all to continue to socialise and enjoy the fun of our sessions, but just to take a few extra precautions. Please:
stay away if unwell
if you have been unwell with fever or diarrhoea you must have been symptom free for 48 hours before attending a session
Bring your own cup
Bring your own gloves
Maintain social distancing, keep 1m+ between you and others
Wash your hands religiously – especially before morning tea
Ensure you sign in and out so we can assist with contact tracing if the need arises
Be prepared for a nursery, maintenance or planting session to be cancelled, possibly at short notice. We will place cancellations on Facebook, Instagram and here but you may also arrive to find the nursery closed.
If you become unwell and have attended the nursery, please contact us as soon as possible
Annual General Meeting:
Our AGM is postponed. The documents that would have been presented are available here (scroll down to Trust documents). The Trust is in a very good shape and there are no urgent matters to advise of.
Planting for 2019 is finished .... but here are other opportunities to help us.
You may enjoy attending a nursery session and care for the seeds and plants that we are nourishing for future planting seasons. See above for days and times. All are welcome.
Watch facebook and this page for summer watering and weeding sessions. These are important for plant survival so is as important as the initial planting.
Check out our new logo!
After 10 years since Te Kakano’s inception, we felt it was time to give our logo a fresh new look.
We have worked with Simon Larkin from Larkin Design, based here in Wanaka, and have developed a logo that we think showcases well what we do.
We are proud of it and hope you will like it as much as we all do!
Funding Achieved for Nursery Expansion Stage 1
How exciting to announce that we now have the funds to achieve stage 1 of the nursery expansion.
We wish to acknowledge direct funding from the Sargood Bequest, The Longview Environmental Trust, the Central Lakes Trust and the Otago Community Trust. Their support is invaluable and has enabled the project to proceed.
We are currently working towards having contracts in place to start work as soon as practical with a target of being completed by October.
We would like to acknowledge again the in-kind support from local businesses The Roading Company and Urban Reset Design
We also thank the Blennerhassets for granting us the use of a little more of their land as we push the nursery boundaries out further.
Update on the Riparian Planting Project
Last year we announced that Te Kākano had partnered with the Upper Clutha Lakes Trust to lead and commence Riparian planting for the Wanaka Water project, funded under the Ministry for the Environment's Freshwater Improvement Fund. Time for an update!
The plantings that took place at the Glendhu Wetland Wildlife Refuge were part of that project. Our involvement means we will be planting 24,000 plants over the five year life of this project. Yes, this is a lot of plants, but we have processes in place to handle the numbers and our community plantings remain our core focus.
We continue to use plants eco-sourced from within this region to ensure everything we do supports the traditional biodiversity of the region. Local nurseries, Matukituki Natives and Pukerau are providing plants where we cannot meet the demand.
We have developed site selection criteria to determine the suitability of potential locations against the prime objective of water quality improvement, and an MOU between parties for selected sites. Such sites include those administered by our traditional partners QLDC and DOC, as well as some stream sides and wetlands on private land that feed into the rivers or lakes. Aspiring Environmental, have been developing Land Environment Plans with farmers around the lakes and are helping identify potential sites, and QLDC is helping identify areas for mitigating urban runoff impacts.
Te Kākano staff and volunteers have been busy propagating enough plants of suitable species, organising the planting and initial maintenance of these plants. This work will be ongoing and where the numbers are beyond the Trust’s scope we will contract out plantings. Where a site is on private land, we will most likely use contractors to do the planting.
We believe that delivering the Wanaka Water Project helps us further enhance our ability to improve the biodiversity of the area through connecting people with the land.
Tagged for Monitoring
Some of our plants are now tagged so we can monitor growth at certain sites. These tags are important, so when you are walking, watering, weeding or planting:
- if you find a tag that is not on a plant, please record where it is, the tag number and advise us.
- if you find a dead or poorly performing plant that is tagged then leave the plant and tag in place, record where it is, the tag number and advise us.
We wish to thank Chris Kielgaard, Helen Clarke and Martin Unwin, for designing and implementing the monitoring system for us. We appreciate the time they have given us, and recognise we are fortunate to benefit from their hard work.
They have chosen one wet, one dry and one intermediate site for “intensive monitoring”. At each of these sites 100 – 150 plants are tagged and at 1,2 and 5 years from planting, the trunk radius, height, wellness and mulching are measured and recorded.
Other sites have been selected for “standard monitoring”. At these we record the number and species planted, and take photos at specific photo-points. At years 1 and 2 we recount the plants and take further photos.
The monitoring enables us to formalise what we know and have evidence to support our knowledge, and meet our recording obligations to funders. It also gives new funders confidence in us.
Ecofund recognises our need
We have successfully applied to the Otago Regional Council's Ecofund and are one of the lucky recipients.
We are delighted and grateful for their support.
The ECO Fund supports community-driven projects that protect and enhance Otago's environment.
The grant will help to cover some of our daily running costs.
10 Years Strong - we are celebrating
Our 10th anniversary was celebrated at Bullock Creek with the sun shining on an enthusiastic turnout of about 70 people. A speech or two, a commemorative planting of a beautiful matai, sponsorship from local businesses and of course a birthday cake all made for a great celebration.
River Story Finalist Award and Video
We are proud of the stunning sculpture we were awarded for being in the final three. Congratulations to the winners, the Oakley Creek project.
You can view a video (link below) that was made for the judging panel. It has been a wonderful opportunity to gain more media exposure and to demonstrate what our volunteers achieve. Many thanks again to the Cawthron Institute.